Some Smaller Joys

In honor of Thanksgiving, Aunt Beulah celebrates lesser blessings to illustrate the importance of indulging in laughter and small pleasures as we age. This post is excerpted from columns written for the Craig Daily Press in 2010 and 2011.

Thank_01.png.jpegDuring the Thanksgiving season, when others mention the blessings for which they’re grateful, I never mention Press ‘n Seal plastic wrap.

But I could.

The struggle to decently cover leftovers has plagued me for decades: I’ve balanced plates atop half-full serving dishes, hurled plastic tubs and lids here and there searching for a matched pair, stretched elasticized bonnets until they snapped, and rued the wastefulness of discarding aluminum foil after one use.

Since the advent of Press’n Seal, I casually unroll a sticky length of film, stretch it across a bowl of dinner remains, smooth it down the container’s sides, and do a happy dance.

I’m also thankful for the trees in our yard that prevent direct sunlight from lingering on the house. Since the windows are shadowed most of the day, I think they’re clean.

I’m grateful I’m tall, though I didn’t think so during junior high dances when I swayed above a sea of bobbing heads like a heron stalking minnows. Now I know the advantages: I rarely have an obstructed view and can reach the highest shelves in supermarkets. I’m easy to find when wandering lost and will never, ever, be called a little old lady.

Praises be for Post-its. I find them indispensable for the thirty-two lists I make each day: calls to make, tasks to complete, books to read, groceries to buy, items to pack, gardening to do, and, for future reference, all the past places I’ve found my glasses. I’ve stopped short of writing a list of behaviors in need of correction to attach to my husband, Joel, but if you see him wearing a neon-green post-it, you’ll know I succumbed.

My gratitude goes out to friends and kindly strangers who tell me when I leave home with curlers in my hair, sales-tags attached to my clothing, or shoes of differing styles on my feet. Please, never hesitate.

I’m thankful that I no longer attempt to fold fitted sheets. I once saw Martha Stewart demonstrate a procedure for bundling the limply resistant objects into respectability, so I know it’s possible. I just can’t do it. So I’ve stopped trying; instead, I roll the sheets into a lump and squash it flat. Good Job!

Mentioning Ms Stewart reminds me of another blessing I enjoy: I’m not Martha.

I have better things to do than making a whimsical turkey from old Clorox containers for the centerpiece of a Thanksgiving table and surrounding it with placemats I wove from recycled panty hose.

I don’t want to bake cornbread from scratch and cut it into precise cubes, which I’ll toast, to use in a stuffing recipe that also requires portabella mushrooms, candied pecans, and fresh figs.

But I do want a Thanksgiving surrounded by loved ones and filled with laughter—and I wish the same for all of you.

Have some thoughts
about small blessings you enjoy?
I’d like to hear.

Recap of Comments from Use It or Lose It
Jacke exercises her mind with SUDOKU puzzles, and Janice, who admits to struggles with technology that rival mine, recommends not giving up, but finding an expert to rescue you when necessary. Mercy points out that the Internet allows the disabled and the elderly to access the world and stay connected with their loved ones. She wishes there were more avenues available to help these groups enjoy the fun of the Internet.


12 thoughts on “Some Smaller Joys

  1. I echo your thankfulness for post-it notes (is there any teacher who DOESN’T identify with this?). I’d like to add to your list….

    1. The pleasure of opening a well-recommended book for the first time, and the delicious anticipation as you turn your eyes to the first page.

    2. The first sip of a perfectly brewed cup of tea on a cold winter morning.

    3. Purring cats.

    4. The legendary Ferguson hips. While they may make buying jeans a horrorshow, I am blessed with a great hip to waist ratio. 🙂


  2. I loved this post, Aunt Janet. As I sit here in Henderson, I’ve been very thankful for the little things that I enjoy each day. The phone calls with Grandkids singing or screaming in the background, the ability to wake up to an alarm clock only to make my heart race on the track, the warmth of a shower on a cool day, reading glasses and what I can actually see when I have them on, but most important, my loved ones near and far. Being without them at times like this makes me even more thankful that I HAVE them!!

    Have a wonderful and filling Thanksgiving! You and Joel are in my very thankful heart during this wonderful Thanksgiving Season.


  3. I’ve never tried the press and seal. It sounds awesome! I must admit we did buy a dorm size fridge last year to handle the overflow. Our old fridge was tiny and being raised by depression era parents, we kept it until it died-right before Christmas last year. Now we have a big fridge and a small one. The small one gets turned on when we have company-who for some reason like to be fed! It’s also great for wine and beer storage!

    I don’t have anything festive for the table, it would take up room for food.

    Our dinner is home made-I get JL to bake bread for the stuffing and he makes Rhea Huff rolls. My food has never been artfully arranged but it tastes pretty good. Now, I need to get off the computer and get with it!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


    • So one of your smaller blessings is actually larger–a new refrigerator, excellent! Your dinner sounds wonderful, and I agree that more food is more important than festive table arrangements.


  4. I solved the fitted sheet problem when we moved into the RV. One per bed, remove it, wash it, put it back on the bed. This would have worked in the house too, but I thought I had to fill the linen closet. When the sheet wears out, the thrift stores have them in abundance for next to nothing!


  5. I guess you have to be raised by an RN to learn the tricks of the trade and become a master of solo sheet-folding. It seems like Mama taught us the magic of fitted sheet folding before we were tall enough to do it standing on the floor and not the bed… Someday I’ll let you in on the secret.


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